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Who is Liable for Injuries Caused by a Recalled Product?

Recalls enable manufacturers to remove a product from the market with recognized manufacturing or design defects and provide a solution to consumers who have been harmed as a result of the defect. Some product recalls are required by law. 

When a product has manufacturing, design, or instruction flaws, the manufacturer is still accountable for the damages the product caused. A product recall does not absolve the manufacturer of all financial obligations for selling a defective and potentially harmful product. It can, however, assist them in reducing their liability.

What is a Product Recall? 

According to the American Society for Quality, “a product recall is defined as a request to return, exchange, or replace a product after a manufacturer or consumer” advocate group discovers flaws that could impair performance, injure consumers, or cause legal problems for the manufacturers.

Product recalls can be divided into two categories:

  • Voluntary Recalls: Initiated voluntarily by the company. The recall notification must be followed in this instance— it is not voluntary.
  • Mandatory recalls: If a manufacturer or company refuses to recall its products or fails to take adequate precautions to protect customers, the government will issue a recall.

When a corporation learns that one of its products presents a safety risk, it must notify the appropriate government agency and request that the product be recalled. Following that, the agencies are in charge of overseeing product safety and the recall procedure.

Who is Responsible for Injuries from a Recalled Product? 

In a product liability case, a recall can be used as evidence, but it does not automatically establish the manufacturer’s liability for the injuries sustained. Recall evidence does not automatically hold a defendant producer accountable in a civil lawsuit.

A plaintiff must still show that the product was defective and that product defect was the direct cause of his or her injury. Although circumstantial evidence of a recall can help demonstrate that the type of defect the plaintiff claims existed at the time the plaintiff was injured, more direct proof, including witness testimony and images of the actual product, is usually required.

In most cases, it is likely that the manufacturer will be liable for injuries sustained from a recalled product, especially if those injuries occurred before the defect became known. However, it is possible that a supplier or seller could also be held responsible in some instances. 

When Can You File a Lawsuit for a Recalled Product? 

The recall itself does not give rise to a legal claim for product responsibility against the manufacturer. You may be given a replacement product, a refund, or repairs, but you will not be given more compensation just because the product is harmful. 

However, you do have a legal right of action based on products liability if the product defects create an actual accident with injuries. However, unless an accident occurs and injuries were sustained, there is no product liability claim.

Speak With an Experienced Product Liability Attorney Today

At Gary C. Johnson Attorneys at Law P.S.C., we understand the complexities of product liability cases. If you or a loved one have recently sustained injuries from a recalled product, please, contact our office today to speak with a Kentucky product liability lawyer. Our firm can help walk you through the process involved with a product liability claim and work with you to hold manufacturers accountable for defective products that may have caused you harm.